A local dad got into a back-and-forth with the superintendent of the Groton-Dunstable school district at a school board meeting on November 16, 2022. He questions the presence of LGBT posters and flags all over the schools and wonders why other groups aren’t represented. The superintendent says “those posters were put up to make sure those students feel welcome.”
As he presses about other groups of students who may feel marginalized or, as he puts it, “picked on,” the superintendent acknowledges there are no special posters for them and then cites the the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) as the reason the posters must be up, in the name of “equity” and “inclusion.” Those words become almost a mantra for other board members throughout the exchange.
A conversation ensues that is worth watching in full because it is so illustrative of the conversations happening in so many school districts between parents and the school district leadership, both elected and appointed. This is a calm and mostly respectful exchange and each “side” lays out their perspective. The board presents a united front against the dad and tells him that even if they agreed with him (which does not seem to be the case,) their hands are tied and that his concerns must be taken up with the state department of education and the legislature, not the school board or school administration. The board chair does insult him personally near the end.
The dad also raises questions about books in the middle school libraries. When he mentions that he looked up books in the online library catalog system, the superintendent questions how he could have access to the catalog. She seems unaware that the district is part of the online cataloging system here.
In the middle school library display below, we see the book Waking Up White and White Fragility.
An elementary school sent a newsletter home on October 17, 2022 to announce a workshop at the local public library with the the author of a book for “parents of white children.”
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